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Quick Takes: Juan Williams has book deals

The commentator fired by National Public Radio in October for his remarks about Muslims has a deal to write two books.

Crown Publishers announced Tuesday that the first book by Juan Williams will “focus on free speech and the growing difficulty in America of speaking out on sensitive topics.”

Williams was let go by NPR after saying on the Fox News Channel he gets nervous when he sees people on a plane wearing clothing that identifies them as Muslim.

NPR said his remarks violated its standards of not having on-air personnel giving opinions.

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Crown is an imprint of Random House Inc.

—Associated Press

Rip Torn pleads guilty in Conn.

Actor Rip Torn pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from allegations he broke into a Connecticut bank while drunk and armed, prosecutors in Litchfield, Conn., said.

The star of movies including “Men in Black” and “The Beastmaster” was arrested in January after police found him inside the Litchfield Bancorp with a loaded revolver.

State’s attorney David Shepack said the Emmy Award-winning actor pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and the illegal carrying of a firearm.

The 79-year-old actor was given a 21/2-year suspended sentence and three years of probation.

A defense attorney said Torn is thankful that no one was injured and that he didn’t end up in jail.

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—Associated Press

CNN shuffles morning show

Troubled CNN is looking to give a face-lift to its morning news show, seeking a more “upbeat” mix of stories and leaving anchor John Roberts behind in the process.

The network said Tuesday that Roberts, a former CBS News anchor, has left the show. Roberts is engaged to CNN anchor Kyra Phillips and has requested a reporting assignment that will take him closer to her home and the network’s Atlanta base.

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CNN also said that the “American Morning” executive producer, Jamie Kraft, has left CNN to take a job at NBC News.

Just like in prime time, CNN has been outflanked in the morning by more pointed, personality-driven shows on rival cable networks. CNN is fourth in the morning ratings behind Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” CNN sister station HLN’s “Morning Express” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Roberts’ co-anchor, Kiran Chetry, remains on the show.

—Associated Press

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George Clinton to Peas: Shut up

Funk pioneer George Clinton wants a federal judge to force the Black Eyed Peas to shut up when it comes to sampling his music.

Clinton sued the Grammy-winning pop group in Los Angeles on Friday, claiming it used elements of his 1979 song "(Not Just) Knee Deep” in remixes of their song “Shut Up.”

The song first appeared on the group’s 2003 album “Elephunk,” and it released “Shut Up Remix” the same year. It also was used in another remix included on the deluxe edition of the Peas’ 2009 release, “The E.N.D.,” according to the complaint.

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Clinton says he never granted permission for the use of his music, and he is seeking copyright infringement damages and an injunction to block further sales of the remixes.

A representative for attorney Ken Hertz, who represents the Black Eyed Peas, declined to comment.

—Associated Press

Finally

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Split: Actors Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds said they are ending their 2-year-old marriage.


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